DHS issues cyber threat alert for US Government websites and suspects Iran

    The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has issued a cyber threat alert for US government websites after it discovered a recent wave of DNS Hijacking attempts possible made by a government-funded hacking group from Iran.

    Readers of cybersecurity Insiders have to notify a fact over here that the cyber crooks on a recent note managed to alter DNS records of few federal websites which include web coding edits, passwords change and disabling multi-factor authentication for all accounts for which the records related to DNS are managed.

    DHS authorities have found out that the cyber attackers have managed to redirect or intercept the web and mail traffic and are likely to target other websites in coming days.

    A few days ago, DHS issued a separate warning against the ongoing government shutdown imposed by US President Donald Trump. The alert says that the ongoing shut down has blocked the websites from receiving security certificates, thus making them vulnerable to cyber attacks.

    Now the latest directive issued by Homeland Security has urged all employees to take multiple login precautions, including changing of passwords, and implementing multi-layer security such as 2FA for the protection of website logging and has encouraged the IT heads to conduct domain level audits to keep an eye on intrusions.

    Note – The ongoing shutdown has made over 800,000 federal employees either works without a pay cheque or lay-down until the government operations are brought back to normalcy.

    Islamic republic hackers from Iran are suspected to be behind the attacks launched on western governments and California based Cybersecurity Firm FireEye has confirmed it in its January 9th, 2019 report.

    FireEye report also suggests that the attacks are being launched on countries such as North America, Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East and are being launched at an unprecedented scale with a high degree of success.

    Peter Neffenger, the former admiral of TSA said that the shutdown could lead the nation to a detrimental state where the nation’s preparedness and ability to respond to man-made disasters like cyber attacks and terrorist attacks on the United States will become zero.

    Caitlin Durkovich the former assistant secretary for infrastructure protection at DHS has expressed concern on the current situation and said that the situation will deteriorate if the shut down is not put to an end as it puts on hold the strategic risk efforts and security awareness campaigns meant to secure the nation. She added that Donald Trump should review his wall building decision again especially after ISIS attacks took place on Americans in Syria which can signal a red alert to national integrity.

    Note- A DNS server is like an internet phonebook where the IP addresses are translated to human-recognizable names and vice versa. Technically speaking, the web browsers interact with Internet Protocol addresses of websites and make their content available to the web traffic.

    Naveen Goud
    Naveen Goud is a writer at Cybersecurity Insiders covering topics such as Mergers & Acquisitions, Startups, Cyber Attacks, Cloud Security and Mobile Security

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